Old bombs rallied for the Shitbox Rally adventure and fundraiser for the Cancer Council

The Rally began at Newcastle.

OLD bombs and jalopies dragged along the most circuitous route possible between Newcastle and Townsville as the ‘Shitbox Rally’ for Cancer Council funds ran between 12-20 May.

Local volunteer RFS fireman Patrick Hurkett joined old friend and cancer survivor Paul ‘Dutchy’ Kuster in ‘Dutchy’s Mob’, one of several teams in this year’s Autumn Rally.

Their steed upon this quest was a stereotypical white Holden Commodore station-wagon with a ‘dingo fence’ decal, adhering to the Rally’s primary rule of “a shitbox worth <$1500”. Their route covered over 3500km, 1500km of which was outback dirt roads, cross-country to Townsville, via Betoota and several other locales. “It was a great adventure,” Patrick told NOTA, “camping in showgrounds and building a close-quarters team dynamic.” “Support vehicles had trailers, although of the 230 vehicles that started, only two didn’t make it,” Patrick explained. “A lot of bush-mechanic action went on – one Commodore lost its sump, but, miraculously, they salvaged the same part off a nearby abandoned heap. “One tiny Suzuki Swift, with barely inches of clearance underneath, suffered oil leaks and suspension blowouts as it literally dragged its belly across hundreds of kilometres of rough terrain, and was trailered off three times.” The Rotary Club of Goulburn sponsored ‘Dutchy’s Mob’, with several individual and organisational donors from Tea Gardens pitching in - Lions Club, Ray White Tea Gardens, Woody’s Nursery, PC Brunton Electrical, and RN Baker switchboards - raising an impressive total of $6,195. The ‘Shitbox Rally’ (real name, so no complaints, please), is a massive fundraiser for the Cancer Council, started thirteen years ago, by James Freeman, after he lost both his parents to cancer twelve months apart. To date, the Rally has raised an ongoing total of over $38million, with the Autumn 2023 Rally alone amassing more than $2 million so far. Several recent local fundraisers for the Cancer Council and related charities remind us that everyone has been affected in some way by cancer, and events like Shitbox Rally help people to talk about it. By Thomas O’KEEFE [gallery link="file" columns="2" size="full" ids="115952,115953,115954,115955,115956,115957,115958,115959"]

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